passer calls raise
Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett found out the hard way when he sacked Tom Brady and got flagged for roughing the passer in the fourth quarter of Atlanta’s 21-15 loss at Tampa Bay on Sunday.
The questionable penalty that benefited Brady and the Buccaneers raised more concerns about interpretations of the rule. It was the second straight week referee Jerome Boger made the critical call late in the game on a play that didn’t seem to warrant a flag.
Last week, it helped the Buffalo Bills on a drive that ended with Tyler Bass kicking a 21-yard field goal as time expired to beat the Baltimore Ravens 23-20.
This time, it allowed the Buccaneers to extend the final drive and eventually run out the clock.
Protecting quarterbacks has always been a point of emphasis for the NFL. That was magnified after Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was taken off the field on a stretcher following a violent hit in a game against Cincinnati on Sept. 29. Tagovailoa sustained a concussion when 6-foot-3, 340-pound Bengals defensive tackle Josh Tupou threw him backward, slamming his head into the turf.
Tupou wasn`t penalized for sacking Tagovailoa. Neither Josh Allen nor Brady have been injured at the hits Boger known as roughing.
“What I had become the defender grabbed the quarterback whilst he become nevertheless withinside the pocket, and unnecessarily throwing him to the ground,” Boger informed a pool reporter after the sport. “That is what I become making my selection primarily based totally upon.”
Buccaneers educate Todd Bowles, of course, understood the selection.
“I noticed that one being known as. I noticed it in opposition to Tua whilst he were given hit, and withinside the London sport this morning,” Bowles stated. “I assume they’re beginning to crack down on a number of the things, slinging backs. I don
t know. Right now,
the manner they're calling (it), I assume a whole lot of humans wouldve gotten that name.”In the NFL rulebook, it states: “Any bodily acts in opposition to a participant who’s in a passing posture (i.e. before, during, or after a pass) which, withinside the referee`s judgment, are unwarranted via way of means of the instances of the play might be known as as fouls.”
The rulebook additionally notes: “When unsure approximately a roughness name or doubtlessly risky tactic in opposition to the quarterback, the referee need to usually name roughing the passer.”
Many analysts, such as former quarterbacks, disagreed with Boger`s name.
“The league workplace has to get that fixed,” Hall of Fame educate Tony Dungy stated on NBC
s “Football Night in America” pregame show. “If you can't address the quarterback, its going to be not possible to play defense.”
Robert Griffin III tweeted: “The Falcons were given ROBBED. Hitting the QB difficult does now no longer same Roughing the Passer even supposing it`s Tom Brady.”
Despite the notion that the 45-year-antique Brady receives unique treatment, the seven-time Super Bowl champion ranks forty first with .14 roughing calls in step with sport when you consider that 2009. This become the primary time Brady become the beneficiary of a roughing penalty this season. He simplest were given one remaining year.
Jarrett become visibly disillusioned approximately the penalty and refused to speak to journalists after the sport. Falcons educate Arthur Smith wouldn`t criticize the officials.
“Obviously from my vantage point, it seemed adore it become a horrific name,” Falcons cornerback Casey Hayward Jr. stated. “But that`s why you placed the refs obtainable to make those calls. They pay those men to make the ones calls. It seemed horrific (from) my standpoint – however like I stated – I become at the returned end. They placed those men there to make the ones calls.”
Nobody desires to see any participant undergo a success just like the one which despatched Tagovailoa to the hospital. But there`s a distinction among shielding quarterbacks and punishing defenders for gambling football.
Finding a stability is the NFL`s dilemma.